The constant research for efficiency and flexibility has forced assembly systems to change from simple/single assembly lines to mixed model assembly lines, while the necessity to reduce inventory has led the transition from single to multi line systems, where some components are assembled in secondary lines, called feeder lines, connected to the main one by a “pull philosophy”. A possible approach to configure such an assembly system is to balance the main line first and use the retrieved cycle time to balance each feeder line separately, which is a questionable solution, especially if operators can perform tasks on both the feeder and the main line. Moreover for its complexity the mixed model balancing problem is usually solved transforming it into a single model by creating a single “virtual average model”, representative of the whole production mix. The use of a virtual average model assumes that the processing times of some models are higher or lower than the cycle time, which creates overload/idle time at the stations. This approach, especially in complex multi line production systems, largely reduces the assembly line productivity and increases the buffers dimensions. This paper faces the mixed model assembly line balancing problem in presence of multiple feeder lines, introducing an innovative integrated main-feeder lines balancing procedure in case of unpaced assembly systems. The proposed approach is compared with the classical one and validated through simulation and industrial applications.

MIXED MODEL ASSEMBLY SYSTEM WITH MULTIPLE SECONDARY FEEDER LINES: LAYOUT DESIGN AND BALANCING PROCEDURE FOR ATO ENVIRONMENT

AZZI, ANNA;BATTINI, DARIA;FACCIO, MAURIZIO;PERSONA, ALESSANDRO
2012

Abstract

The constant research for efficiency and flexibility has forced assembly systems to change from simple/single assembly lines to mixed model assembly lines, while the necessity to reduce inventory has led the transition from single to multi line systems, where some components are assembled in secondary lines, called feeder lines, connected to the main one by a “pull philosophy”. A possible approach to configure such an assembly system is to balance the main line first and use the retrieved cycle time to balance each feeder line separately, which is a questionable solution, especially if operators can perform tasks on both the feeder and the main line. Moreover for its complexity the mixed model balancing problem is usually solved transforming it into a single model by creating a single “virtual average model”, representative of the whole production mix. The use of a virtual average model assumes that the processing times of some models are higher or lower than the cycle time, which creates overload/idle time at the stations. This approach, especially in complex multi line production systems, largely reduces the assembly line productivity and increases the buffers dimensions. This paper faces the mixed model assembly line balancing problem in presence of multiple feeder lines, introducing an innovative integrated main-feeder lines balancing procedure in case of unpaced assembly systems. The proposed approach is compared with the classical one and validated through simulation and industrial applications.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2484422
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